Monday, December 23, 2013

A Great Sunday Affair with lots of Goodies – a share of Vanilla Cake and some Sweet Takes…

Yesterday was a Sunday which I didn’t let it go so easily. I knew Sunday was coming and Sunday knew it was also going to make its weekly round as usual. Had thought of going out with family, have a good meal somewhere and then the cold winter evening could be spent buying something or doing some window shopping. But none of these things happened. 

With wishes unfulfilled, I was sure to catch hold of my Sunday and spend my time with this day preparing something in the kitchen. At least some good snacks to come up during evening tea-time…

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Masur Dal with Chalta (Tak-Dal) – Red lentils cooked with Elephant Apple (Sour Dal)

Dal goes hand-in-hand with Bhat (rice). They are friends of one another on the lunch spread. The other day there was a conversation going on between Dal and Bhat.

Dal: Bhai (brother) Bhat, today is so cold.

Bhat: Don’t you know that winter has already stepped in?

Dal: I know because Didibhai, puts my bowlful in the micro-oven and switches it on to warm me up.

Bhat: Hey Dal Bhai, you seem to be so stupid. Didibhai warms all of us before serving as Dada babu likes hot food during these winter days.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Friday’s Dinner Treat of Noodles Mixed with Veggies and Eggs

Noodles,  simple easy-to-make dish which brings radiance on the faces when they eat it at home…home-made with little changes as per individual taste…all because of its Made-At-Home tag coming with no prior preparation and no going out and coughing out a good amount from the pocket.

As this dish comes up an anecdote also comes to light all because of its close association with this food.

To make noodles is easy:

Take some noodles, any make, I’ve used Tops vegetarian noodles. There is the direction on the packet, handy for a first timer. A container of water sat on the fire and some salt went in before the water started boiling.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Gulab Jamun made with Milk Powder – Diwali Special -- Easy-to-make and Share is the Mantra

Festive time and all the sweet thoughts go hand-in-hand with the sweets that are savoured. Some say, “joto misti khabe touto misti bolbe (the more sweets you eat the more sweetly you speak).” I can only say, “ke jane baba (who knows)”, for if there would have been so much truth in this then people would have eaten more sweets to speak sweetly…no quarrels, no bad words, no shower of harshness in the speak, and, only love and love would flow like a sweet syrup. If sweets could do this JADOO, then there would be no wars and we would be in peace with our neighbours and our politicians would not go and sit for Peace Talks. There would be no loss of innocent lives due to anger and hatred.

Saturday, November 2, 2013


Let the Deepavali lights bring 
love, warmth and brightness 
to your home and lives.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Ghugni Chaat

Ghugni Chaat
Last time when I wrote and posted here, it was before the Pujas had come. Durga Pujo came and went away, Lokhi Pujo also came and made its exit and now time for Kali Pujo to come. Here the buck does not stop for this is the festive season in India and as soon as all these Pujos wrap up their days and go after making a big buzz, the cold days are standing there for our welcome.

Late that I am but wishing my friends here – Subho Bijoya, lots of love and warmth – and that brings to mind all the goodies that was savoured during these lovely days. Many people have a sweet tooth and they love the sweets served to them when Bijoya time comes. This gesture of serving goodies continues till Kali puja and that keeps the lady of the house on her toes to be prepared to serve some sweet& namkeen food to her guests.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Chicken Makha- Makha

Puja days are saying, “Knock knock” standing at the doorstep of everyday life. What more, children say, “ki moja Pujo eshe gelo” (great fun the Pujas have come), and elders including me looking forward for the first day of the Pujo, Sosthi, that’s the beginning of the five days -- uff! -- can’t imagine the excitement building up for the coming days. One more day and then the daily routine of life will be different from the regular activities -- ektu (little) different from the regular schedule of life. O God, my language is becoming a mish-mash of Bangla and English words. It happens, it happens in India, nothing to worry.

I’m not thinking about pandal hopping that’s going to happen in my life after a couple of days, but, now I’m more concerned about my recipe that’s going to get a place here.

I’ve named this recipe Chicken Makha-makha because whenever I cook chicken I ask everyone at home what they like to eat. “What will you like, murgir jhol (chicken curry), chicken dopiyaza, kadhai chicken, chicken roast…”, before I can carry on – mind you I don’t have many more options to give them – am delighted to hear -- “keno chicken makha-makha kore daoo (why? Cook chicken makha-makha) ”. Thus this recipe has a name of its own in my home.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Rui Mach-er (Rohu Fish’s) Day out to China Town

The fish was there sitting in pieces on the plate. They stared at me straight into my eyes. I could very well find they were reading my thoughts. Staring, blinking, winking, what they were doing was hard to tell. But they looked straight at me.

By now I took some haldi powder and salt and started rubbing onto the fish pieces. As the rubbing went on I thought about the Kerala Body Massage we can take to feel fresh and energetic. As my hands carried on, I think of that day and smile. On a trip to Bangalore, we travelled some distance to a lovely place and stayed in a very luxurious accommodation. The Kerala Body Massage was something unavoidable. It was a great experience. By now my act with the fish pieces was over.

I sat the Kadhai (wok), poured some oil and lightly fried the fish. I could read their thoughts…not in wonderland or dreamland…but actually I felt I could hear their language. One said to the other, “Today Didibhai is not doing the usual Macher Jhol”.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Chaltar Tak/Ambol with Tak-Misti-Jhal Taste – Elephant Apple Sweet and Sour Chutney

The Chalta came to my house as a gift from a friend. Chalta is not commonly found and is rare. I had seen a Chalta tree in one of my Uncle’s house. That was the first and last I have seen a Chalta tree. The tree bears lots of fruit at one time and this is seasonal sour fruit cooked to make tak/anbol/chutney.
Chalta is known as Elephant Apple in English.

When I got the Chalta/Elephant Apple, I was very happy as I was thinking about it few days back. I knew I had to spend some time dressing the Chalta before cooking it.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Murir Moa and Ganesh Chaturthi

Ganesh Chaturthi came and went away. This is Incredible India, where festivals come and go. But festivals don't have their own time of appearing. There is the Almanac which is followed to know the date and auspicious time of the Puja rituals...otherwise what a bizarre it would be...


Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Egg Roll with a Healthy Bite

It was the weekend evening and I knew there would be words about some tasty snack for gobbling up by everyone present. I had tucked my feet on the chair and in no mood to do anything other than watching the TV.

On the one hand it was Snacky Hunger Calling and at the same time dusk had fallen and it was quite dark outside. But I was enjoying the cool from the air conditioner with the idiot box doing all the noise in the room. The tray with the empty cups was on the center table waiting to be carried to the kitchen sink. We had just finished our cha and biscoot (tea and biscuit) but still then hunger tried to squeeze in into the stomach and there was want for food…at this time what more than a heavy snack…for dinner would be late all knew.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Lau-er-tarkari Ilish Macher Matha Diye/Lauki Curried with Hilsa Fish Head

Lau/Lauki/Bottle Gourd, is a Simpleton among vegetables. The look is good – the skin is smooth with a light green colour and the inside is white. As I compare the Lau/Lauki, a mesmerizing thought of a Nursery Rhyme of my kiddy days flash across my mind. And then come the words that had long been forgotten… go and reverberate says my mind as I look at my lau/lauki…

And remembering I say it in a lyrical tone…

Simple Simon met a Pieman,
Going to the fair,
Says Simple Simon to the Pieman,
Let me taste your ware… and I carry on…

All these thoughts because I’ve named my Lau/lauki as Simpleton, otherwise I would’nt have repeated those lines here…are you bored? No ‘Cooking ab bhi baki hai mere dost’, so just stay on…

Ha ha ha, jokes apart I’m back to my recipe.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Watermelon Juice – Refreshing, Colourful and Delicious

Watermelon the sought-after fruit in summer because of its great taste and water content which is satisfying. The look of it good…the outer part with that green and wide white stripes and cut it open and it’s all so pink, nay, with that dark shade of the sweet pink colour.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Mango Shake/ Refreshing Mango Drink

There are two words in the title of this story or should I say something FRUITY and JUICY in this spread of writing that I’m presenting. This is no doubt it’s a Fruity Affair and a Juicy Drink. All this because of the King of Fruits the Mango and the taste of it blended to give out its taste and flavour.

Let me say something why this thought of putting this up came to my mind. All started when my Mangowallah, yes my Mango Man…don’t take me wrong here for saying “The Mango Man”…no he’s not

Friday, August 9, 2013

Eid Mubarak and Chaler Payesh/Rice Pudding/Kheer with flavours of Green Cardamom and Bay Leaves

Eid Mubarak to all my friends here, and, special mention for them who are celebrating this festival. And now I want to go back over to my childhood days. In our neighbourhood there were many Muslim families. And on this special festive occasion they would sent us so many goodies. It would come in a big thal/plate with so many assortments. There would be dry fruits and most important was the Special Sevaiyans. The thal would be covered with a big jharan/towel and handed over to my mother. In return the thal would not go back empty. Ma would fill a bowl with her special Semai Payesh or Chaler payesh which she made specially to go back to the neighbours home when they took back the plate.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Vegetable Cutlet – Tea-time snack with a Healthy Twist

Love for Jolkhabar/snacks make me yearn not only to eat but also increases my agility and ability to try and make some at home. The road-side food stall snacks give the inviting look at a glance and also create the desire to taste some. Gluttony sucks in when I see samosas or vadas or aloo-chop or vegetable chops or cutlets, mutton chop or fish chop — God don’t want to name more — being fried in roadside food stalls. Why does such food attract people towards it? …tasty tasty they are… and leaving behind hygiene and quality, this food stuff can simply invite to have a taste of it. That’s when we get trapped and compromise with our taste buds and leave aside everything else and just go and grab it.

Mothers are particular these days about the food for their children. They don’t like to compromise with the health hazards of unhygienic food the children may eat. So health and hygiene conscious mothers make the best use of their capability and cook tasty and attractive dishes at home…children are happy so are Mothers.

Cooking at home gives the advantage of making it tasty and healthy, for people are very health conscious these days. Good quality cooking oil and other ingredients are carefully chosen and bought. The super markets make buying easier at the same time gives the privilege to see and learn about products which we are unaware of.

By now you must be saying, “Enough of your sermons and now come back to your Cutlet recipe which I believe you are going to share”.

Stopping my rant here and having read your mind I’m back to what I want to share.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Bhapa Ilish/Steamed Hilsa in Mustard Sauce

The month of Shrabon/Shravan, and imagine Ilish mach (Hilsa fish) found in abundance in the fish market. Little do the hilsa eaters mind the soaring price of this much wanted fish of the Bangali poribars (Bengali families). As I work with my fish in the kitchen, my mind swell with words so closely related with this month and the fish. And here come the words —

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Rainy day Khi(n)chudi/Khichdi -- tastes the best

My rainy day mood says:

Brishti pore tapur tupur
Khi(n)chudi dilo daak
Aaye Didi ranna korbi aaye
Tor dibo shaath

In English this will read like this...

It is raining pittar patter
Khi(n)chudi came calling
Come Didi cook the dish
I’ll give you company.

It is raining ‘Pitter Patter’ and not the ‘Cats and Dogs’ type. But the clouds are playing the game of ‘Cat and Mouse’...visible now and then lost somewhere. 

Friday, July 19, 2013

Kumro Saag-er Chorchori/Curried Red Pumpkin Greens – Bengali Dish

It is not every day that kumro saag is available in the market. If the vegetable vendor is asked to get some, he will try and get it for his regular customer. He may take some days to get the saag for this is not commonly sold in the market.

There are some who hate green leafy vegetables. For them this saag specially may mean something very absurd. “Kumro/pumpkin, is ok, but the saag, really strange. God knows how it tastes after being cooked or is it simple waste of time,” that’s what Mrs N was telling her friend when she heard about this recipe. This reminds me of the film Chupke Chupke, where a Botanist is referred to as ‘Ghaas phus ka doctor’.

There’s absolutely nothing to mind when the saying goes, “Aap ruchi khana, par ruchi pehenna”.

This saag was plentily available in our house. The cowshed in the backyard of our house had a thatched roof. So Maa sowed the pumpkin seeds and let the creeper climb and spread all across the hay thatch. When the flowers came, some were fried into tasty Kumro phul bhaja. The pumpkins were let to grow to the size that could then be cut off and cooked. Pumpkins don’t rot and can be remain for days, so it can be cut into long strips as per requirement and used in the kitchen. Of course friends and relatives also got a share of it.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Rosogolla -- Bengali Sweet Dish

While visiting some relatives or close friends, a Bangali will love to carry a small bhand (earthen pot) of rosogollas. This sweet meat is a favourite of many and when someone comes up with some of these, the mouthwatering process starts by just seeing them. 

Rosogollas have the good look – white cheese balls dipped in sugar syrup. Hold one between the thumb and the first and second finger and then -- toop kore mukhe chole jaai  -- it goes into the open mouth, with every bite the cheese ball breaks in the mouth and the sweet syrup adds to its taste. That’s the feel and the taste of Rosogolla.

Rosogolla making at home is no rocket science. It needs some time, some patience, some love and care in the making process and then spread happiness with every bite.

While making some at home I had clicked the pictures so that I could write about this and share the photos.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Tamarind Chutney (Hot, Sweet and Sour) / Imli Chutney aka Te(n)tuler Chutney

The thought of the word tamarind and the sourness brings water to the mouth. Tamarind carries back memories of childhood days. There was a girl in our class who used to bring the tamarind pods to the class. She used to hide and keep them in her bag and how our group waited for the bell to ring for the short break. We – the small kids -- would run out with the tamarind pods and then break open the pods with the help of a stone – hit hit hit and the pod breaks, the sour fruit comes out and then in they go into the mouth. Why was it that the sourness was not felt then but now -- simply can’t do this act again? Age has done its job and the tamarind has got its place in the kitchen to be used for so many dishes.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Samosas with Aloo (potatoes), Green peas and Fulkopi (Cauliflower) stuffing – Evening Tea-time Snack

Think about the evening snack, the mind boggles, what to serve for the evening becomes the thought of the evening. There are readymade snacks at home, but something made in one’s kitchen is something very DIFFERENT – be it in taste and the love that has mixed with the care and efforts put in.

As there was cauliflower in the fridge, thought of using it for the samosas. And potatoes, a common stock in every household. If you don’t have any veggie, the potatoes can help make a dish – aloo bhate (boiled potatoes mashed) with that dribble of mustard oil and some chopped onion and salt, the aloo bhaja, of course the kurkure ones, I mean the crunchy ones, aloo posto, aloo-r dum, aloo-r chop, and I don’t have to go on. The kitchen master knows how to feed the people at home.

Making samosas at home gives the liberty to eat a good number of them without the thought of having the Gas Problem, that’s a common word you find Bengalis saying, “Gas hoyeche”, which very well means indigestion and that also means to pop in a Gelusil tablet to get rid of the gas.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Prawn Pulao/Pulao Chingri mach diye -- Robibarer Special

Talk of Robibar/Sunday and many a time on such weekend days there is some special non-veg item being cooked. There can be a weekend party, a small gathering of friends or relatives, and a special dish can satiate the taste buds. You need not be a gourmet cook to prepare a special dish. When it is special it sure will have a Special Effect. Some may agree and others may disagree, free to have your own perception. Speaking of Robibar you can also read my simple recipe of Robibarer Porota aar Aloo Tarkarir Jalkhabar – Sunday Breakfast with Paratha and Potato Curry, which I have posted earlier.

It is always nice to be in a conversational mood with my virtual friends. Friends from around the world can be at this spot at the click of a button. The virtual world makes a lot of difference to many people, including me. There are friends who like to connect through their e-mails, friends who love to visit my space, some may visit and enjoy the read quietly, and, others may dislike me. Others may like my Social networking page with my interactive posts on Facebook. Anyway, I call all of them my friends, maybe, we don’t know each other personally nor will ever get a chance of meeting. But that’s the way life is moving in this very wide world.

The Prawn Pulao is this Sunday Special and I’d love to share this recipe cooked in my kitchen. Everyone at home love prawns, even a plate of the prawn fry with some capsicum and onion finishes off within minutes of it being served. I had been thinking of this dish for some time and was waiting for the right size prawns, and then went into cooking it.

Fresh prawns take a lot of time in dressing and cleaning it. But, when at the back of the mind there’s a special dish waiting to be prepared, time goes off in this effort without a HUH! Or a WH(F)OO!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Aloo, Begun, Seem, Kumro aar Sojne Da(n)ta-r Chorchori aka Simple Vegetable Combo

Summer days are making life unbearable. Temperatures are on the rise. So also the temperature of the Cricket fever of India is getting hotter. By now the news has spread far and wide about the betting going on for the IPL matches. Huh! How much money can satisfy the needs of a human? Running after money is good as long as it is hard earned – but…

Better to remain silent as I don’t watch the cricket matches these days for the bugle had already sounded many many many … how many many’s will I write to satisfy this small mind.

Moving out of all this trash, I’m getting back to a comfort summer dish for lunch. This is a soothing side dish for lunch. Nothing much, a peep into the fridge and the most common veggie is there to complete the preparation. Some may not have the Sojne Da(n)ta/ Drumsticks, but this is the one that adds more taste to it.
I’ve been cutting the sojne da(n)ta and storing them in my deep freezer, and it has remained fresh for days. Out from there and it goes into my Chorchori.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Malpua – Kuch Meetha Ho Jaye

Today is a sweet day. “Sweet day?” eyebrows go up.

“God have I made a wrong expression?” I ask my good self. Phat (abrubtly) came the reply. “No not at all.” I heard the answer. Was it a soliloquy? No, no grammar, no drama, no more questions.

This post is all about making a sweet dish and that’s all. Always it is Jhol, Jhal, Tarkari, Ambol, Tak, Dal, Mangsho, Bhaja, Jolkhabar, and what not to find as I peruse my spot. Today I want to stick to something Mishti (sweet).

The love for Malpua at home makes me prepare this food item many times. But let me share a secret. This happens when the skin of the bananas becomes black, and no one bothers to touch and relish it. It is then my Malpuas come up.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Biuli Dal-er Boda/ Biri Bora/Urad Dal Vada/ Lentil Fritters

Snacks are so-o-o-o tempting, mainly the deep-fried ones. There are many who like to avoid deep-fried ones, some for health reasons, others for fitness aims and there may be many reasons unknown to me.

Whatever be the intention, the kitchen is wide open to cater to the needs of the different kind of explanations.
No chance of compromise with this serving of Bodas/Boras/Vadas today. Purpose – another snack – easy to make, tasty to eat, appetising to the palate and attractive to the sight, inviting at the first view, and much more but all that ends once you get the bite and taste of it…all in reality.

More so you can call this Bhaji or Bhajjia, or as in Bengali you can call it Tele Bhaja, have your cup of hot tea ready as you relish them. You need not worry for the rain to fall or the cold to give the bite, this snack is for all throughout the year…no time and day specified if you want to cook something that you like.

Coming to the Bodas/Boras/Vadas, it needs some time for the preparation. One needs to think of making it well in advance. 

So to get ready for the Preparation:

Soak 1 ½ cup Urad dal/Biuli dal/Biri Dal, overnight.

Rest of the ingredients:

2 medium size onions chopped
3-4 green chillies chopped
8-10 curry leaves (optional)
Semolina/Suji/Rawa 1 ½ tbsp.
Salt to taste
Oil for deep frying

For the final call:

Make a paste of the soaked Dal, not very fine. To this add the chopped onions, green chillies, curry leaves, semolina/suji and salt. The suji makes the outer coat crunchy. Mix it well.

Once the oil is hot, throw in the fritters/boras/bodas with the help of your fingers or you can take the help of a table spoon. These boras are simple home-made ones, so need not worry about a perfect shape. Be sure the oil is not burning hot as this will not let the inner portion be cooked properly. Fry the Boras/Vadas till it starts getting the brown colour.

Once they are ready, arrange the plate and serve with some home-made chutney of pudina, dhania or tamarind or some bottled sauce will do. Get the bite and smack your lips and in your mind you can say, “Ah! What a snack”. Simply simple isn’t it?

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© gouriguha 2013

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Simple Bangali Jolkhabar -- Porota aar Begun Bhaja/Simple Bengali Tiffin -- Parathas and Fried Eggplant (aubergine)

Sometimes simple things are inviting and appetizing. My sons loved Porotas in their tiffin box, and to compliment the porota there was Begun Bhaja or sometimes Aloo Bhaja. Even carrying tiffin like this to the office for lunch is a good choice.

Porotas, when they are fried on the tawa, give out an aroma that is ‘inviting’ for those who can get the smell but not a share. This I can say from my experience. We lived on the ground floor of a building. The kitchen that was separated by a wall had a small door, was very near the staircase. Whenever I made porotas, those climbing the stairs would say softly to one another how they felt hungry by inhaling the aroma of the porotas that were being fried in my kitchen. I would hear their fading words as they went up step after step. I cannot compel one to believe in what I’ve written, just a passing thought that went into words as I sat to write.

Coming to the Begun Bhaja:

Cut the Begun/Eggplant into slices, neither very thin nor thick either, it’s easy to fry.  See pic.

Rub some salt and turmeric powder onto the body of the pieces.

Next heat some oil in a wok/kadhai and fry them.

Next the porotas:

For this add some oil (to make it khasta/crispy) and salt to the flour. Mix it and then add water to make the dough. Divide the dough into small sections. 

Now roll out the porotas/parathas into triangle shapes. 

Next fry them and its ready to be served with the begun bhaja.

You must be wondering why this simple Jolkhabar spread. Let me release the secret, all because someone who is a learner in her kitchen wanted to know about it. No offence for those who are masters of cooking.

© gouriguha 2013 

Friday, April 26, 2013

Phulkopi Dathar Chorchori / Mishmash with Cauliflower Leaf Stalk

Phulkopi Dathar Chorchori 

Going through the photos lying in my album, I found so many pictures - time I sorted and shared them. These pictures of the Phulkopi Dathar Chorchori were clicked long back but never got a chance to be on the BlogSpot.

I sat looking at the pictures and then…

‘Why?’ cries the picture.

My consolation words, “nothing was written about you, so it stands where it is”.

“Didibhai, give me the chance to be shared with others”, say the pictures.

I thought over the words of this Cry-baby. Sitting there it may get into oblivion, so better show-off the texture, colour and the way of preparation using my thoughts and words.

Bengalis don’t like to throw away even the peeled skin of so many vegetables. Aloo-r khosha/potato skin, lau-er khosha/bottle gourd skin, kancha kolar khosha/green banana skin, and so many other peels are chopped and cooked into chorchoris or batas/paste in most Bengali kitchens.

The other day a friend told me, “I was served with the potato peel chorchori at a Bengali friend’s home and it tasted wonderful. If you have the recipe, can you share it with me?” A soft smile crossed my lips and then the sharing and…

We have so much to learn from one another and what the harm in owning up and speak out loud and say, “I’ve learnt this from so and so”. Every day is a learning day, be it in whatever field it may be.

Winter comes and the season brings with it fresh cauliflowers. Phulkopir dalna is a very common dish in my home. So also Aloo Phulkopir bhaja, phulkopir singara/samosa, phulkopir pakora, gobi paratha and…

Some childhood reminiscences: During winter the hens kept in the huge enclosures were fed with phulkopir saag and danta/cauliflower greens. They pecked with their beaks and even fought with their mates for their share. The cows were also given the greens and then they sat chewing the cud. At times the parrots nibbled the leaves, but not to their liking, they loved the Kundrus, that too the red ripe ones. Common pets, the dogs and cats were least bothered about the vegetable. As I write this I wonder how nice my childhood days were. Living in big houses with large Uthuns/open cemented space, and how we played Kumir danga/Land and the crocodile. My sons get this luxury in their Didas and Thammas house. Change has made all the difference.

Time I got out of this natter and do justice to my Cry-baby…phukopi dantar chorchori…or else will not come out of its shell again.

Phulkopi Dathar Chorchori with Rice

For the Kopir danta chorchori:

Separate the greens from the stem and the cut out thin strips from the stalks of about 2 inches long. Wash and keep it aside for that’s the main stuff of this dish -- should be about a medium bowl full.

Other ingredients:

Mustard seeds: 2 tbsp
Potato 1: Cut into mini dices
Pumpkin: about 150 gms cubed
Tomato 1: cubed
Green chilli: 3-4
Turmeric powder: ½ tsp.
Red chilli powder: ¼ tsp
Salt to taste
Sugar to balance the taste


Put the pieced stalks, potato, tomato and pumpkin and some water, about 1 cup, and pressure cook it for 2 whistles or till the stalks are soft but with the crunch.

Make a paste of mustard seeds, 2 green chillies, a pinch of salt and a pinch of turmeric.

Now heat about a tsp. of oil in a wok. Once it is hot add the 2 remaining slit green chillies and give a stir. Soon add the contents from the pressure cooker and stir again to mix well.

Add the turmeric and red chilli powder. Once the boil comes add salt and sugar and let it cook. Add the mustard paste and mix well and cook till the pumpkin and the potatoes give a body to the Chorchori and let the water dry completely. Now it is ready to be served. That’s one of the magic of Phulkopir danta.

© gouriguha 2013

Monday, April 15, 2013

Aamer Jelly/Mango Jelly

This recipe has brought back memories of my Ma. My Ma has left this world many years back. She was such a good cook. In Bengali they used to say, “oor hather ranna-e daroon s(h)aad , means she cooks really tasty food.” She really had some magic in her cooking. She knew so many recipes, varieties and also made innovations. Wish I had learnt them from her; I could have shared so many new recipes. But then, never thought I would be cooking in a kitchen of my own and then blogging and sharing my recipes with others.

Summer days have brought to us the most liked fruit of the year, the mango. It was only after the Dol Jatra, the festival of Holi, that we ate raw mangoes. Ma would offer raw mangoes to the Gods on the day of Dol, and then it would be the cooking of Tak in the kitchen. How we relished the thin flowing gravy of the Tak. Till now I love to mix some Tak-e-r jhol with my bowl of dal and drink it at the end of my lunch.

How can I forget those childhood days when salt mixed with red chilli powder enhanced the taste of the sour green mango that we ate and now just can’t think of biting the sour green mango. Age and time brings about so many changes in life.

Back to my mango Jelly. This recipe is simple but time consuming. But once it’s done and bottled, joy runs through…

For this we need:

Green mangoes: 1 kg
Sugar: 750 gms
1 tsp. red chilli powder
Salt: just enough to balance the taste (about half a tsp.)

Preparation time: Nearly an hour

First peel the mangoes and cut into small cubes. Separate the hard seed. Wash and place the mango pieces in a pressure cooker. Add little water (about a cup) and cook till the first whistle comes. Keep it aside.
Now put the sugar in a big kadhai/wok, add little water so that the sugar melts once it gets the heat of the oven. Check for the first thread of the syrup to come.

In the meantime mash the mango with a ladle against the sides of the cooker to make it into a thick paste.
Now add the contents of the cooker into the sugar syrup.

From now on the hard work starts. Constantly stir and don’t let the sugar burn at the bottom. Go on stirring and mixing and cooking till it becomes soggy. Now add the red chilli powder and salt and go on working till the jelly is ready. The water must have dried up by now. To check if it is done take some of it in a spoon and drop it. If it falls clean off the spoon then it is ready. Don’t over-cook for it will become hard once the jelly cools down. Once it becomes hard it will lose its texture and taste.

Cool and preserve in the jars that has been washed and cleaned and dried earlier. Jars have to be clean and dry to avoid growth of fungus.

This Khatta-Meetha jelly tastes good with parathas, rotis, bread and can be used like a dip with bhajjias. And why not, a spoonful can also be tasted just for a change.

© gouriguha 2013

Friday, April 5, 2013

Soup with the Bite

Variety in food – that’s what – makes all the difference to a person’s taste and appetite. And then, comes, the dish from one’s own kitchen to be laid on the table for people at home. Everyday cooking is like passing an exam on a daily basis. Little more salt and faces come up and speak out frankly, “aajke aee tarkari-ta-te noon besi hoyeche. Or – dal-ta aeeto jaljale aar mach khoob kora bhaja… (this curry has too much salt, the dal is so watery, the fish has been fried too much).

Hah! Says the lady, but not unhappy with what she has heard. “It happens, it happens”, she says with a wide smile, taking it sportingly. Silently she vows to serve them a different dish, not the regular ones for dinner. That’s how this soup comes up. The fridge is opened and all the stuff comes out from the Big Thanda Box – the refrigerator – understood…

Jokes apart let me serious. J

The vegetables for this dish:

Carrots: 2
Radish: 2 along with the stems of the greens cut into 2 inch length
Brinjal/Eggplant: 1
Cauliflower florets: 6-7
Green bananas: 2
Tomatoes: 3 nice ripe red ones
Green chilli’s 3: slit in the middle

Other ingredients:

Oil: tsp.
Haldi powder: ½ tsp.
Black pepper or chilli powder (as you prefer) ½ tsp.
Salt: to taste
Panch phoron: 2 tsps. (for all the aromas of jeera, sauf, methi, kalonji and mustard)
Sugar (optional): 1 tsp.

To start off with the cooking, first wash and cut the vegetables into small pieces.  Put all the vegetables in the pressure cooker, add enough water and wait for the first whistle to come. Switch off the flame and allow it to cool.

Once it has cooled down, open the lid. In the meantime take a kadhai/wok and put it on the burning stove. Now add oil and once the oil starts to release the heat add the panch phoron. Let the whole spices crackle, but don’t let it burn. Once the aroma of the spices start to come up, pour the vegetables along with the vegetable stock from the pressure pan into it. Now add the haldi powder, chilli or pepper powder, salt and sugar and let it boil for 4-5 minutes. By now the flavour of all the vegetables has mixed together with a slight sour taste from the tomatoes. Soup is ready to be served…hot of course…

Enjoy the soup with the bite of the veggies. You can also eat it with hot rotis or with the dip of bread slices.

© gouriguha

Monday, March 11, 2013

Plagiarism at its Height

Dear Blogger friends. Today I was astonished to find one of my photographs, the one from Aloo Methi recipe, finding a place on another blog site Khana Pakana. Giving the link here

Though my photo is from Aloo Methi recipe, the one who has stolen it has put it against his/her recipe of Aloo Piyaj Koli. One thing for sure the person concerned is misguiding the readers. Maybe the person has copied the writing also, perhaps bit by bit from different blogs…not sure, can contemplate…

I was really stunned by the guts of the cheater. One thing for sure, the individual has very little knowledge of cooking.

This is an alert for me and I wanted to share it with you’ll.

Happy Blogging and beware of Plagiarists J

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Bata Mach, Piyaj Koli aar Aloo-r Jhol (Fish Curry)

If I say it is ‘Bata Mach and Piyaj Koli Returns’, this will be the truth. Earlier I had posted about Bata Mach Sorse Diye. But this preparation is a bit different in taste and smell and of course the way it is cooked. And Piyaj Koli is already in my list of earlier posts Piyaj Koli aar Aloo bhaja

Bata Mach is really very tasty and can be cooked in different ways, I mean use different spices and try out the different tastes. Always there’s space for innovation as Cooking is no Rocket Science and if there is a fault, it hardly makes a difference. Isn’t it?

Being a Bengali it is so natural to eat Bhat/Rice with Macher Jhol/Fish curry. If it is less spicy the jhol/gravy can be running to mix well with the rice in the plate. The other day when a Dada of the Para/Neighbourhood came, he said “aajke ginni daroon macher jhol ranna kore chilo, macher jhol bhat, ki saad…” (today wife cooked fish curry. The rice and fish curry was such a good combo, so tasty…)

Bata Mach is neither a very small nor falls under the type of big ones. This fish is cooked as one single piece, means one whole. Pictures of this fish below:

Main ingredients:

Bata Mach – 6-8 in number
Piyaj Koli – 1 bunch cut into 1 inch length
Potatoes – 2-3 cut into half and then cut longish into 4 pieces from one half
Tomato – 1 cut into small pieces

Masala/Spices for the curry:

Dhania Powder – 2 ½ tsp
Jeera Powder – 1 tsp
Haldi Powder -1/2 tsp
Red Chilli powder – ½ tsp or as per your taste
Ginger paste 1 ½ tsp
Mustard oil for cooking as this gives a better flavour.
Salt to taste

Making of the curry:

Fry the fish and keep it aside. In the same cooking vessel first add the piyal koli that has been washed and cut earlier. Stir for 2-3 minutes. The greens give a sweet smell. To this add the potatoes and the tomato pieces. Stir and fry for another couple of minutes. Add the ginger paste and salt and fry for 2 minutes. Add salt and the spices and some water. Mix all the spices with the veggies and cook till the oil leaves the sides. Pour in enough water (depending on the type of gravy you want) and cover the vessel and let it cook over a low flame. Before the potatoes get very soft add the fried fish. Don’t let the fish cook for a long time, only a minute or so and switch off the flame. Curry is ready to be served with hot rice. This preparation goes well with rice only.

© gouri guha